This is written by guest author @Johnny2Thumbs17 who is also a Football Manager YouTuber whose channel can be found here; YouTube Channel Be sure to check out his work, he’s a very underrated content creator. So drop him a follow on Twitter and a sub on his channel.
October 2017 – Moscow
Inexperienced. Naïve. Green. Wet behind the ears. There I was, a young, foolish American vacationing in the heart of Putin’s Russia. I had just submitted my resume for my first big boy job – Football Manager-not-so-extraordinaire. The world was my oyster and I was going to gobble that son of a gun down.
Being the tourist that I was, I ventured to Saint Basil’s Cathedral. The design of the building was captivating – the colors, the onion-shaped domes, the swirls. As I followed the swirling design of each dome I found myself mesmerized. Light headed and swaying, I lost complete track of time. Had I been standing here for five minutes? Or had it been five hours? It was at that moment that I discovered the true purpose of this building – to hypnotize Westerners into a stupor.
The lights went out. Two pairs of strange, calloused hands pinned my arms to my sides as I was escorted towards some unknown destination. We abruptly stopped, tires squealed, and the smell of burning rubber filled my nostrils. I was pushed into a vehicle of some sorts. More squealing of the tires and we were off. I could hear my captors talking now – why oh why didn’t I learn Russian before coming here?!? If only I could get to my phone and use the translator.
I slowly reached towards my pocket, located my phone, and tried to take it out.
BEEP BEEP! HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
The car fell silent. I could see nothing but pitch blackness, yet I felt their eyes burning into my soul. A grunt. A blow to my temple. The lights went out again. Thanks Siri.
When I finally came to I found myself exiting the darkness and entering pure light. The intensity of the light was overwhelming. Disoriented, I squinted into the light and tried to cover my eyes with my hands. But my hands were nowhere to be found. “Oh God, this is one of those horror stories I’ve heard about isn’t it? They’ve taken my kidneys haven’t they?” I thought to myself.
As my eyes began adjusting to the harsh light, I realized that while my situation was bad, it wasn’t the nightmare I had envisioned. My arms were still well-attached to my body, although bound to the arms of a chair. Even though my head felt like it was filled with bricks, I lifted it up and looked cluelessly around what I imagined was a room.
“Johnny Thumbs” rang out a grizzled voice with a heavy accent. Still not fully aware, the voice boomed like thunder in my skull.
“Huh?” Well played Johnny. Cool, calm, and collected as always.
“Says here you manage football. Youth teams?”
“I mean, I gave my nephew some tips.” Says here? Was this guy reading my resume? Did I even submit it to Russian clubs?
“Says you play?”
“Uh, yea, I’m a two-time champion at my rec league.” Oh God, oh God, oh God. Why did I stretch the truth on that stupid thing?
“Champion.” Papers shuffled around. A hand lands heavily on the desk in front of me. “OK you live, you manage?”
“You mean, this was like an interview?” Honestly, what the hell is going on. I know for a fact I didn’t submit my resume to Russian clubs.
“You manage, you live. You win, or we see you again.”
“Wait can’t we talk about th…” Lights out, once again.
When I came to this time around I found myself slumped down in a comfy, leather recliner. A young woman sat across from me. Bangs swept across her forehead, the rest of her hair pulled back into a bun. Black-rimmed glasses, pale skin, red lipstick. I can’t comprehend what’s going on, but she opens her mouth, and I could swear that I heard her say:
“Welcome to Dinamo Saint Petersburg.”